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ACLU of Utah Hails Utah Supreme Court’s Decision Vacating Ogden’s “Gang Injunction”

18 October 2013 Published in Newsroom

In a victory for civil rights, the Utah Supreme Court today vacated the so-called Ogden “Gang Injunction.”  In the case against the injunction, brought by the ACLU of Utah, the Court ruled that Weber County’s tactic of attempting to sue Ogden Trece as an “unincorporated association,” thereby binding hundreds of individuals without having to name any of them, violated Utah’s rules requiring proper service of process.

 ACLU of Utah Hails Utah Supreme Court’s Decision Vacating Ogden’s “Gang Injunction,” Vows to Challenge Further Attempts to Curtail Rights

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 18, 2013                                                      

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – In a victory for civil rights, the Utah Supreme Court today vacated the so-called Ogden “Gang Injunction.”  In the case against the injunction, brought by the ACLU of Utah, the Court ruled that Weber County’s tactic of attempting to sue Ogden Trece as an “unincorporated association,” thereby binding hundreds of individuals without having to name any of them, violated Utah’s rules requiring proper service of process.  As a result, the Court held that the district court never had jurisdiction to enter the injunction in the first place.   The alleged gang members who challenged the injunction also argued that the injunction violated the United States and Utah constitutions in various ways, including by failing to provide them due process and by denying them basic rights such as the right to associate.  The Court, however, did not reach those arguments in the decision issued today because it found that the injunction was void for improper service.

 “We are thrilled that the Court vacated this misguided, overbroad, and constitutionally suspect law enforcement tactic and recognized that the process Weber County used to obtain the injunction was fundamentally flawed,” said David Reymann, a cooperating attorney with the ACLU of Utah.  “The constitution demands that parties whose rights will be affected must be given a meaningful day in court, and that simply did not happen in this case,” he concluded.

 “It is a victory for every Utahn’s rights that this overreaching and overbroad injunction is no longer on the books,” said John Mejia, Legal Director of the ACLU of Utah.  “Because the Court did not reach the merits of the injunction, though, this may only be the beginning of a longer fight.  You can be certain that if Weber County tries again to push for this kind of injunction, we will be on the other side pushing back,” he concluded.

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